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UFC 278 Rest of Card: Romanov Heads Prelims

Heavyweight Puts Unbeaten Record on Line

UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 is packed with quality fights, including the headline preliminary fight between Marcin Tybura and Alexander Romanov.

We highlight four fights where UFC odds are available, including main-card fights between Yanan Wu and Lucie Pudilova, and Tyson Pedro vs Harry Hunsucker.

Unbeaten Romanov Headlines UFC 278

Tybura vs Romanov

There is plenty of hype around Romanov, who is 16-0 after showing his well-rounded game against Chase Sherman.

He scored a submission victory in the first round to back up his knockout win over Jared Vanderaa, which should be a scary thought for Tybura.

We think Romanov is heading toward a UFC heavyweight title fight in 2023 and beating Tybura takes him close.

“Yes for sure, I am coming here for the title. I think the guys who don’t think about the title, they have no future in this division,” Romanov told Cagesidepress.

“I am a professional. I need to win more. Three, four fights, and I can try to make a title shot.”

The sportsbook has him at -370, so he’s an overwhelming favorite. There is better value in Romanov to win via a stoppage, which pays -150. That’s a much better price and we think he’s one of the bets of UFC 278.

Pick: Romanov by KO, TKO or Sub (-150)

Wu vs Pudilova

UFC bets markets have the Wu vs Pudilova fight matched closely, with the latter edging favoritism at -120.

The 13-7 fighter has the reach advantage over Wu, who is 13-5. The bantamweights haven’t been overly impressive in their MMA careers, but they have done enough to secure a main-card fight.

Pudilova hasn’t fought since losing to Justine Kish in 2020 and she hasn’t won since 2018 when beating Sarah Moras. During that time, she has suffered notable losses to Antonina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche.

Wu failed to make an impressive earlier this year and also hasn’t won since 2018. It has been slim pickings for the bantamweights, but Pudilova has had the bigger fights and should have the edge.

Pick: Pudilova -120

Pedro vs Hunsucker

Pedro is the overwhelming favorite with UFC betting markets to beat Hunsucker, who has been knocked out in two UFC fights.

Hunsucker lasted 49 seconds against Tau Tuivasa before being knocked out in the first round against Justin Tafa. It’s poor form coming into a pay-per-view event and we’re not sure why he’s on the card.

Pedro is 8-3 with a solid reach advantage and he looked good when knocking out Ike Villanueva in April. It put him on the map, having not fought since losing to Mauricio Rua in 2018.

“Not getting to do that for four years was probably the toughest part,” Pedro said. “Obviously there was harder stuff for my family and things like that, but that for me was the hardest part.”

There is more improvement in Pedro and he could give Hunsucker his third consecutive knockout loss, which should be enough to see him dropped from the organization.

Pick: Pedro by KO (-450)

Santos vs Gordon

At 42 years old, Leonardo Santos faces a tough battle as the +200 underdog against Jared Gordon.

Santos has the big reach advantage, but he hasn’t put that to good use recently. He was submitted by Clay Guida last year and knocked out by Grant Dawson.

Gordon also comes off a loss to Dawson, but he looked better in winning his three prior fights. His winning streak followed a loss to future champion Charles Oliveira, so the form stands up stronger than that of Santos.

We’re agreeing with bookmakers and picking Gordon to win at -260. It’s a short quote but we think Santos is just there to pick up his cheque.

Pick: Gordon -260

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